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End of May Pedal-Chain Update - Episode IV - A New Hope!

Ambient EffectsAnasoundsBig Muff Style FuzzBitcrushing and Lo-FiBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioChorus and VibratoCooper FXDigital ReverbDistortionDr ScientistDriveEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFlangerFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGFI SystemGlitchJackson AudioKlone and Transparent OverdriveKuro Custom AudioMarshall Style DistortionMenatoneMetal DistortionMI EffectsModulationModulation WorkstationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOddball ModulationOverdrivePhaserRat Style FuzzRedbeard EffectsReverbReverb WorkstationSilicon FuzzSpacey ReverbSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXToneQuestTremoloVox Style DistortionVS Audio+-
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May was the month that several things finally slotted into place - all my missing / presumed lost USA orders finally landed as did a few other pedals which had been somewhat lingering in the wild - so May delivered a pretty decent pedal yield overall in the end. I also got to be involved in a couple of exciting up-and-coming brands - Kuro Custom Audio of Italy and MidValleyFX of USA. I’ve already published a feature on the excellent Kuro Akuma Fiery Fuzz as featured on slot #5, and hope ...

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JHS Launches Affordable Legends of Fuzz Series

Big Muff Style FuzzEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzJHS PedalsOctave FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
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Several people predicted that following on from the pricey $400 hand-wired 1966 Range - which I wasn’t entirely complementary about - that Josh Scott would release more mainstream SMD style devices covering the same sort of territory. In the launch video (per Final Thoughts below) Josh mentioned that there would likely be 10 pedals in this new series - with the above 4 being the first available. I expect the Legends of Fuzz Series to overlap very significantly with the 1966 Range ...

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6 of the Best All-Rounder Relatively Compact Dual-Channel / Multi-Voice / Multi-Drive Pedals

Big Muff Style FuzzBlues Breaker Style OverdriveBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossBrown Sound DistortionChase Bliss AudioDistortionDriveDual-DriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKeeley EngineeringKlone and Transparent OverdriveLovepedalMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionMulti-DriveOCD Style OverdriveOverdriveStrymonTubescreamer Style OverdriveWampler+-
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This article was triggered by a question from Ryan C who wanted my take on the Boss OD-200 vs the Strymon Sunset - and why the latter was a more permanent part of my own pedal-chain versus the seemingly more capable and full-featured OD-200 - which I will endeavour to answer here as best I can.

 

I decided to widen the selection as far as possible and get in a few more alternatives for sake of comparison - while that task proved a lot tricker than I had foreseen. The key criteria were to...

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9 of the Best Compact Doom Drone Sludge Stoner Fuzz Pedals!

Big Muff Style FuzzBlackhawk AmplificationD*A*M EffectsEarthbound AudioFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGreenhouse EffectsMidValleyFXMinotaur Sonic TerrorsNine of SwordsOccvlt PedalsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzSilicon FuzzSunmachine Effects+-
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It turns out that I’m quite the fan of deep and dark sludgy fuzzes. This post was actually inspired by a YouTube demo of the Slomatics Belfast Fuzz Machine Edition of the celebrated single-knob D*A*M M-13 Meathead.

 

I so liked the demo that I then started looking out for fuzzes that got me into similar territory - before realising that I actually already had a couple of my own - the Greenhouse Sludgehammer and Occvlt Furious Dope.

 

And since I started writing this piece I ...

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2 Vibrant Extended Range Fuzz Pedals - KHDK Unicorn Blood II and Wren and Cuff J Mascis Garbage Face

Big Muff Style FuzzFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionKHDKOctave FuzzSilicon FuzzWren and Cuff+-
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I was trying to figure out how best to cover the new Wren and Cuff J Mascis Garbage Face Fuzz with Germanium Treble Boost, when along came the equally cartoonish graphic’d KHDK Unicorn Blood II - another Dark Matter Coffee Octave Fuzz collaboration.

 

In fact only the general aesthetic approach here is the same - similar form-factor and similar number of controls, but the internals being quite different. The KHDK one is a Dark, Fat, Octave Fuzz, capable of some really sludgy tones,...

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Celebrate 9 of Ben and Louise's Best Pedals while Dwarfcraft Devices Goes on Extended Hiatus

Big Muff Style FuzzDelayDigital DelayDwarfcraftEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGlitchModulated FuzzModulationOctave FuzzOctaverOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPitchPitch-ShiftingRing ModulationSilicon Fuzz+-
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I am a touch sad to read that after 13 great years of innovation and independent creativity - the power couple at the heart of Dwarfcraft Devices - Benjamin Hinz and Louise Woletz Hinz - have decided to move on to pastures new. It seems both have landed their dream jobs very recently - which will likely give them more stability and a better quality of life than they have hitherto enjoyed through making pedals - obviously with the current economic uncertainty it’s great to have a positive ...

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4 Potent Matching Pairs of Vintage and Modern Style Compact Fuzz Pedal Duos

Big Muff Style FuzzChase ToneEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGermanium FuzzPLBR EffectsProAnalog DevicesSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
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This post was suggested by a reader - a friend of the person whom I acquired the ProAnalog Devices MKIV Modern from near the tail-end of last year and via Reverb.com. Instead of covering just the ProAnalog pair though, I decided I should cover 4 matched sets of mine which have some underlying similarities in many ways. In each instance I had acquired just one of each of these pairs, but so liked that one pedal that I decided later to get the matching pair. The largest gap in pair completion was...

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11 of the Best EarthQuaker Devices Pedals

Ambient EffectsBig Muff Style FuzzBoost and OverdriveChorus and VibratoDelayDigital DelayDigital ReverbDistortionDriveDual-DriveEarthQuaker DevicesEchoverbEffects Pedal MakersEnvelope Filter and Auto WahFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulationMulti-DriveOctave FuzzOverdrivePitchPitch-ShiftingRat Style FuzzReverbSpacey ReverbTone Bender Style FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-
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Usually I limit these roundups to the 9 best from each brand - but I felt that the visual for that was a little gappy because of the different enclosure sizes! So in an effort to balance out the visual better I upped the limit to 11 - which allowed my to do a couple more interesting things with the listing.

 

These listings are based on a mix of my own personal favourites and more widely considered best pedal ambassadors for those ranges. For a lot of selections here there was an either ...

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Birmingham's The Guitar Show Highlights

AC GuitarsAdrian ThorpeAlan CringeanAlex ErnandezAlex MillarAlexander MillarAnasoundsAudio Distribution GroupBen CroweBig Muff Style FuzzBossBruce DavidsonChapman GuitarsCrimson GuitarsD'AddarioDistortionDriveFilling DistributionFredric EffectsFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGeorgia ThorpeGermanium FuzzGreuter AudioGuitar Gear ResourcesGuitar Gear RetailGuitarsHeadless GuitarsJennings GuitarsLP-Style and Single-Cut GuitarsMansons GuitarsMatt KnightMick TaylorMike PayneMikey DemusMillimetric GuitarsMythos PedalsOffset GuitarsOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOrange AmplificationRabea MassaadRedbeard EffectsReiver GuitarsRob ChapmanRob Williams GuitarsSacha GreuterSilicon FuzzSkindredS-Style and Double-Cut GuitarsStone Wolf GuitarsStuart TateTate FXThe Guitar ShowThorpyFXTim WebsterTone Bender Style FuzzToskaT-Style GuitarsUnique-Shaped GuitarsZach BroylesZander Circuitry+-
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For me, this turned out to be the best The Guitar Show yet - where I pretty much managed to round off all my pre-show goals - in terms of seeing what and whom I wanted to / needed - as per the following highlights. I caught 2 great lunchtime showcases - first by Mikey Demus of Skindred / Redbeard Effects fame and then Rabea Massaad of Andertons, Chapman, Dorje, Toska, etc. fame - and D’Addario as it turned out - albeit people were really just there to see Bea play.

 

I must have ...

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3 Dark Stalking Horses from Lichtlaerm Audio - Altar High Gain Fuzz, Gehenna High Gain Distortion and Trugbild Lo-Fi Chorus

Big Muff Style FuzzBrown Sound DistortionChorus and VibratoDistortionDriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionLichtlaerm AudioMarshall Style DistortionMetal DistortionModulationSilicon Fuzz+-
2020GPXLichtlaermTrio700V3.jpg

My first introduction to Lichtlaerm Audio was courtesy of Henning Pauly - where I caught him talking about Daniel Ringl’s Berlin-made pedals way before Henning’s demo videos were released. There’s actually 4 pedals to the range - including an input-triggered Noise Gate called The Key and The Gate - working somewhat similarly to Fortin’s Zuul, but relying on a loop rather than single input trigger. I’m very well covered in the area of Noise Gates so that is not my ...

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2020 50

Which Medium-Enclosure Dumble-Style Pedal is Right for You?
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